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Lakers vs. 76ers Preview: Can LeBron James widen the gap in the MVP race?

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LeBron James has an opportunity to build on his MVP candidacy by showing up another candidate for the award on Wednesday.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

As silly as it may sound, LeBron James made a statement against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.

In his 18th season, James showed he can still be the best player in the NBA when he wants to be, and even on nights where he doesn’t look his sharpest (read: the majority of the regular season), he still looks pretty damn good — so good, in fact, that at this point of the season, he’s arguably the favorite to win MVP.

However, there’s still a lot of season left, and James isn’t the only player that’s made a strong case for MVP. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is also off to a fantastic start this season, averaging 27.7 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals per game while averaging 31.6 minutes per game. As you can imagine, his Per 36 numbers are just silly.

In addition to Embiid’s individual success, the 76ers have been successful as a team, which has made him an even more enticing pick for MVP. Embiid will look to build on his case when the Lakers come into town on Wednesday, but as a member of the Cavaliers’ front office found out on Monday, it doesn’t take much to get James fired up, and a chance to make an early-season MVP race statement certainly qualifies as something.

The 76ers also hold the best record in the Eastern Conference, so this will be a battle of the biggest beast in the east and the best in the west. Suffice to say, there are plenty of reasons to tune in for this one.

The Lakers and 76ers will tip-off at 4:30 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN nationally and Spectrum SportsNet locally.

Notes and Updates

  • Kostas Antetokounmpo (right knee patellar tendinitis) and Jared Dudley (sore right calf) are out.
  • LeBron James (left ankle sprain) is questionable. Anthony Davis (right ankle contusion) is probable.
  • For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.